Call for Volunteer Experiences

I am slowly beginning to feel caught up!

One unexpected work-related perk of the day was just how easy it was to file my annual report with the state of Florida.

annual report

I had to fill out paperwork earlier this month to reflect some changes to the PBF business and was concerned that it would make filing my annual report complicated, but that wasn’t the case at all. Woo!

It took me less than 10 minutes and I allotted a good hour to do it all today since I figured I’d be making a lot of phone calls to explain some of the changes. Not so!


Lunch today was nice and easy thanks to dinner leftovers from last night.

ground beef with veggies

I made a beef and vegetable bowl that reminded me a lot of sloppy joes!

sloppy joe bowl

Sloppy Joe Beef and Veggie Bowl


  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Sautee onion and green pepper on medium heat in a pan sprayed with cooking spray or lightly drizzled with olive oil until onion begins to become translucent
  2. Add broccoli to the onion and pepper and cook for approximately two minutes
  3. Add ground beef, stirring to break up the meat
  4. Brown the beef for about five minutes before draining the fat and returning the pan to the stovetop
  5. Add ketchup and vinegar, stirring to coat beef and vegetables
  6. Add more ketchup and vinegar to taste if desired and serve

beef broccoli green pepper onion

Ryan and I both really enjoyed this dish and it tasted great as leftovers, too!

Call for Volunteer Experiences

One of my goals for the new year was to actively volunteer in my new community. I’ve been involved with planning the Taste of Ocala, but the event is happening on Saturday night and I am now on the lookout for different ways to get involved.

It seems like many of you out there also have a big interest in volunteering and I thought it might be fun to showcase a few organizations that you guys regularly volunteer with in a big roundup post of awesome organizations with volunteer opportunities.

I’m not sure if I’m biting off more than I can chew with this one, but if you’re involved with an organization that means a lot to you and would like to share your experience with me and PBF readers, please email me at with a little paragraph about your involvement and the organization and I’ll get back to you with more details. (I would have you just send me a whole blog post with pictures, but I don’t want you to pour time and effort into something that I may not use just in case I receive emails from five people about the same organization and can only use one.)

I would love to debut the post(s?) sometime next week!

Also, I unfortunately will not be accepting posts or blurbs about simply fundraising though I know this is incredibly important. I am looking for information about your experiences out and about in the community… volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts, the Humane Society, etc.

Thanks so much for your help and for the time and effort you pour into helping some fantastic organizations!


  1. says

    I’ve been volunteering with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada for a little under two years, and it’s been a life-changing thing for me. I’m not sure if that’s something that you be applicable to this because it’s not in the US, but if it is just let me know. I would love to write a blurb about it!


  2. Emily says

    Those sloppy joes sound delicious! Do you think it would work with ground turkey as well? And any other veggie suggestions I could possibly add?


  3. says

    have you ever thought about volunteering in your church? i know you said you guys have been on the lookout for a new church, so i’m not sure if you found one you love yet, but getting plugged in at church is always so fulfilling and often starts new friendships too!


  4. elizabeth says

    A few years ago my class at UCF had to choose something to volunteer for. We picked a make a wish kid who wanted to go to the polar express. We had to raise money and resources to get him and his family there. It took months and was a lot of fun. We were able to get him and his family airfare, admission and hotel accomodations to fufill his wish. It was great being able to make a little boy happy in a time of sadness.


  5. Kaella (MrsNeithercut) says

    Done and Done :)

    I apologize in advance for the length! I couldn’t stop writing!


  6. Jeannie says

    Hi – your sloppy joes look so good! I definitely will be trying these! Do you always add your new recipes like this one to your recipe tab so we can refer back? If not, I will save this one to my favorites? :)


  7. Emily says

    I looove volunteering. I used to volunteer at a nursing home, and every week I would run the bingo and help with a barbeque! It was so fun, and the residents are amazing to talk to although many have alzheimers. It’s really great to know you’ve brightened someone’s day with a conversation.


  8. says

    Hi Julie – I just sent you a post I wrote about GOTR DC, then I noticed two people commented about wanting to get involved! Hope you don’t mind, but I would love sharing my experiences with the couple ladies on your comment roll (in case my post doesn’t make it on the blog). GOTR is a fantastic program that goes WAYYY beyond fitness and teaches young girls to respect themselves and others and shows them how to contribute to their communities. I guess that is my blurb too :)


  9. Pam says

    I work at a Children’s hospital and we LOVE our volunteers. They play with the kids, read to them, color with them, and do crafts and puzzles. These are simple tasks, but they help take the kids minds off of being in the hospital and I can spend more time on my duties and less on entertaining the little ones.


  10. Jenny says

    Hi Julie! I’ve never commented before but I wanted to speak up and second what someone said above about joining your local Junior League. I recently joined my local chapter and LOVE it. I’ve met a ton of awesome ladies and have been able to participate in a ton of cool events, including Healthy Kids Day with the local YMCA, diaper and purse drives for local shelters and hospitals. It’s a really great organization!


  11. says

    I’ve volunteered for the National Eating Disorder Organization, both as a speaker and to organize a community awareness event at the university where I used to work. I’ve made some wonderful connections through my work with them!


  12. Kim says

    Girls on the Run is a great organization that I’m proud to be a part of (I am a coach for the elementary girls). Also I am a member of the Junior League (Junior League of Kansas City Missouri) which is a great organization that is involved with the community and supports many different organizations around the city through donations and volunteer work.


  13. says

    I haven’t done it, but I think you’d be a kick-ass Big Sister…you have the flexibility to make afterschool visits and you have such a great active life to share!


  14. Mary says

    Julie, will you be posting your pictures from the America Theme Night ? Would love to see the pictures. Have a good evening.


  15. Sara says

    I walk dogs at the animal shelter near my house. I also let the dogs out to meet potential families. I recommend as a dog owner you do some shelter work at least once in your life. Unfortunately the pit bulls at the rescue are put down If their ‘real owner’ doesn’t come claim them after 2 weeks. Which obviously never happens. I have a rescue from there who is the sweetest girl in the world it breaks my heart someone dumped her in the middle of winter!


  16. Lin says

    I volunteer at hospitals and for hospice and bring my dog in for companion visits.

    I’ve also volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club and loved it. So many kids were craving attention and it was nice to be able to play games with them and make them feel special.

    Here is a good website to search for local organizations, you can search by interest.


  17. says

    I’m so glad you’re doing this Julie! I’m a teacher, and this is my first summer in 8 years I’m not working a summer job, going to grad school, or moving! I’m looking for some new volunteer opportunities too here in San Antonio. I had a little girl in my class when I taught north of Houston that was a part of Girls on the Run and it was amazing what it did for her. She was so sweet and shy, and it truly brought the leader out in her! I’d forgotten all about it until I read these comments. I will look into my local chapter. :) YAY!


  18. says

    I volunteer with an organization called Pug Hearts!

    We help orphan pugs find their forever homes. The pugs that are up for adoption are placed in foster homes – I can explain more if you want later. We love this organization so much we have adopted two pugs and continue to help the organization!


  19. says

    Volunteering is awesome :) I fund raise more often than volunteer sadly though. I do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (amazing experience!) every year (well, almost). I’ve done two in houston, 1x in NY, and 1x in Santa Barbara. It’s great you love to be so involved!


  20. Elisabeth says

    I love this idea! I haven’t volunteered much since being out of high school/college & would like to get back into doing that…but never quite no where to start. Some ideas/stories will be great :)


  21. Bridgette says

    Hi, I love this idea! I’m currently volunteering for a brand new non-profit in the Rochester, NY area called Kidney Cares of Western NY. It’s a grass roots organization that was formed by a group of people that were left when a national organization pulled out of our area. They knew the Rochester area needed a group dedicated to the “kidney” community and so it formed.

    I’m working with this organization because I went into renal failure in June 2006 and had a kidney transplant in January, 2008. We’re still in our very early stages and working on getting our name out there but working with this amazing group of people has been so incredibly fulfilling.

    The website is:
    Thanks again for doing this Julie!



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